Giving to keep classical music alive

15 Dec 2021

Christine Whitworth Roach had her first experience of classical music at age 10 when her parents, Sylvia and William Whitworth, took her to a Chopin piano recital. Listening to, playing, and appreciating classical music became a constant in Christine's life. When she began looking for ways to give back to the community, her mind turned to the ANU School of Music. 

"Classical music is special. It is beautiful, something to admire," says Christine. "With some support, a student from a disadvantaged background can buy a new musical instrument or receive tuition and take advantage of the opportunity."
Christine was inspired to provide opportunities for students to learn classical music, excel in performance, and achieve their musical dreams. Her generosity supports the ANU Orchestra and the annual Whitworth Roach Classical Music Performance Competition, which is a key event on the ANU School of Music calendar. She also established the Whitworth Roach Scholarship to encourage first-year undergraduate students to undertake studies in classical music performance at the ANU School of Music.
With a desire to continue her support beyond her lifetime, Christine has recently established an Endowment for the ANU School of Music, with further investment planned through a gift in her will. Christine's legacy will ensure support for students and classical music programs at the ANU School of Music will continue far into the future.

"I hope to spark interest in keeping classical music alive. My giving is to honour my parents and family, and I want to do that by rewarding students for their hard work in studying classical music."

Head of the ANU School of Music, Associate Professor Kim Cunio, reflects on Christine's generosity. "Christine is one of those rare people who sees something that needs help and acts decisively. She has been a stalwart in supporting the ANU School of Music for years and we applaud her generosity and leadership. We thank Christine for her significant contribution that will foster classical music performance in Canberra for many years to come."

Christine has been a member of the ANU Springbank Circle for many years, and enjoys being part of this special donor community. She particularly enjoys coming to lunches and meeting people, and hearing from students, researchers, and academics about their work at the University.
"I only wish there was more opportunity to spend a good amount of time at Springbank events and activities," says Christine. "I think a festival for bequest donors over a couple of days is a great idea, so we can spend more time together and learn about more ways to give."
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